- Kingdom Hearts
- Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories
- Kingdom Hearts II
- Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days
- Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep
- Kingdom Hearts Re:coded
- Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance
- Kingdom Hearts χ
- Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth By Sleep
- Kingdom Hearts III
- Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory
- Kingdom Hearts (Miscellaneous)
Tie-in Video Games
In addition to the main Kingdom Hearts game series, a number of smaller games exist that tie into the series. This section will attempt to gloss these titles.
When Verizon Wireless released their V Cast broadband service in 2004, they offered several games for subscribers, one of which was a Kingdom Hearts series developed by a company called Superscape for BREW phones, without much input from Square Enix. This was a full 3D game on an early 2000s cell phone, and suffice to say it was kind of a nightmare, nowhere near the quality of coded several years later. Movement was via tank controls, frame rate low, and combat impossible. While the game was long thought to be lost, pieces of it have gradually been recovered, with a YouTuber named KrZ One has restored two of the chapters to a forgotten but compatible console called the Zeebo.
Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days received a promotional Flash game on the Disney website called Magical Puzzle Clash. A simple tile-matching game, Magical Puzzle Clash was stylish, but also prone to lag. Since the game had to contact the server to load new data, it and all other Kingdom Hearts Flash content have been lost to Flash preservation efforts.
The most important of the Kingdom Hearts tie-in games was Kingdom Hearts Mobile, the companion program to the original Kingdom Hearts coded. This was a social hub: a kind of early, cell phone social media popular in Japan at the time. The central feature was the ability to use customizable, Kingdom Hearts-styled avatars. When not chatting with your friends, you could play Kingdom Hearts-styled minigames in exchange for in-game cash that could be spent in both this game and in Kingdom Hearts coded itself. Most of the games are simple and familiar: Reversi, a nonogram game, Spider Solitaire, a rhythm game with few surviving details, and even a minigame from Re:Chain of Memories. The most famous of these games was Gummiship Studio, a copy of ChainShot!, which was later ported as another Flash promo game, this time on Facebook. The Facebook version even saw an English release.
A short-lived, Kingdom Hearts 2-themed scrolling shooter minigame was released on smartphones as part of a crossover event between Union χ and Final Fantasy Record Keeper, though it was never given a proper name (the Kingdom Hearts Wiki has taken to naming the game after the event itself: “Kingdom Hearts Collaboration: Gummi Ship Campaign”). The game was short and simple and was barely documented by fans at the time, but seems to have been a standard example of the genre.
One of the strangest Kingdom Hearts tie-ins is the Kingdom Hearts VR Experience. This free, Playstation VR product puts you in a Kingdom Hearts set and begins to play a cinematic montage of scenes projected on the walls while music plays. That’s it. The program was later updated with a few new scenes, including one, in the Hercules world, where you can attack Heartless while the music plays.
As previously mentioned, Sora was eventually given an appearance as the final character released on Super Smash Bros: Ultimate, apparently a belated payoff for him winning a character survey during the lifetime of Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS. While his character is great, his flashy stage is extremely simplistic in gameplay terms, and ironically might have been chided as another Kingdom Hearts “flat” arena if Smash Bros weren’t already so fond of flat stages for tournaments. Sora and Riku have also appeared in Final Fantasy Record Keeper and Brave Exvius, and the Keyblade has appeared in Disney Infinity and arguably Marvel Heroes as weapons for the fourth-wall breaking Deadpool. Final Fantasy characters have often appeared in their Kingdom Hearts costumes in other games, sometimes as DLC.
One thing Kingdom Hearts has always been good at is to keep up a constant series of direct adaptations. At the time of writing, there are light novel adaptations of every game in the series except for Kingdom Hearts 0.2. And yes, that includes Kingdom Hearts χ, a novel told in second person, though it only really covers events from the first arc, as the second was still ongoing at the time.
Square has also released a series of manga by Shiro Amano. This had an unusual lifecycle: the Kingdom Hearts 2 manga ran so long that it had to be put on hiatus to run the 358/2 Days manga, at which point they returned to Kingdom Hearts 2 to finish it off. At this point, Amano outright said that he was done with the series, only to return for Kingdom Hearts 3, which is ongoing at the time of writing. No manga was released for the interim titles. While the light novels rarely elicit comment, the manga are notable for their differing tone and plot. The first few games are given a much sillier tone than the original products, even to the point of disrupting dramatic moments, and Amano wasn’t beyond complicating his already bloated schedule by adding plot developments woven out of whole cloth. Both of these tendencies seem to have been toned down by the 358/2 Days manga, and he seems to have found more of a groove since that point (making the two, separate halves of the Kingdom Hearts 2 manga an odd read!). The 358/2 Days manga is considered especially high-quality, some fans preferring it to the original game. All of these novels and manga have been released in English, although it took a while.
An oddball piece of merch called “El Cetro Y El Reino” (The Scepter and the Kingdom) was released by Spanish retailer GAME as a pre-order bonus for Kingdom Hearts 1. This independently-produced comic book isn’t official Kingdom Hearts merch, but is attractive and tells a story featuring several worlds that hadn’t been in Kingdom Hearts at the time, one of which, The Sword in the Stone, remains untouched to this day.
Kingdom Hearts is somewhat infamous for relying on developer interviews to clarify the odd plot detail. Many of these were published in Square Enix and Studio BentStuff’s Ultimania series. While the Ultimania have existed under that name since Final Fantasy VIII, Kingdom Hearts‘ loopy storytelling has made its Ultimania especially popular,though few have ever seen release outside of Japan. An Ultimania makes a cheeky cameo in the opening minutes of Birth by Sleep.
Given the series’ beloved music, volume after volume of OST, AST and even sheet music have been released, not to mention all of Utada’s singles. Unfortunately, the Final Mix release pattern has resulted in some unusual discs: short and insubstantial CDs with only a few tracks, even shorter than Final Fantasy’s comparable “Plus” line of bonus OSTs. Many of the smaller soundtracks are bundled with other games: for example, Birth by Sleep, 358/2 Days, and coded share a CD set. To date, every game in the series has a proper OST in some form, except the GBA version of Chain of Memories, though Melody of Memory‘s few remixes were also only available via a pre-order of the combined, physical Kingdom Hearts 3, Kingdom Hearts χ, and Kingdom Hearts 0.2 soundtrack. Unfortunately, digital availability can vary. There’s also never been a release of the English version of Kingdom Hearts II ‘s awful Little Mermaid songs, but few people will probably have any hard feelings about that.
A Kingdom Hearts trading card game was released by Tomy in Japan, brought over to North America by Fantasy Flight in 2007. The game involves taking a Player Card through multiple worlds via World Cards, while obstructing your opponent with Dark cards from your own deck. Both players have to prioritize clearing their obstacles and placing fresh ones on their opponent, occasionally fighting one another in direct challenges. In the game’s final expansion set, new playable character types were added to the game: Dark cards (Disney villains, mostly) can use Heartless as allies, which is flexible but weaker than regular allies, while “XIII” characters (the Organization circa Kingdom Hearts 2)are more focused on defeating their opponent directly..
The list of merchandise continues almost eternally from there, with figurines, stickers, keychains and the like. There’s a Kingdom Hearts version of the board game Talisman (Revised 4th Edition), and even a premium, $700USDKingdom Hearts “chess” set based on the one seen in Kingdom Hearts 3. That last item isn’t actually based on real chess, and is a unique board game, but at the time of writing, it hasn’t been released and the rules are unknown.